Love Actually

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Make no mistake, Love Actually is a chick flick, but it's a good one. The title pretty much sums up the plot: love in all its forms at least all the forms the British could come up with. And despite the excessive nudity and American bashing (all Americans are easy; the President and American girls in particular and the British are tough and polite whereas Americans are crass and pushy) the movie was really fun and uplifting. I guess I am a little biased since I love Hugh Grant. I know he's a dork, or a fop as the British would say, but I love him anyway. Fortunately for everyone who doesn't harbor a not-so-secret affection for Hugh, the movie is not all about him.

Love Actually has ten separate plots all vaguely interwoven. I say vaguely because sometimes the relationships, and scene transitions, are clear and other times they are choppy. At first it was hard to follow the huge numbers of characters. In fact, often times it was hard to follow them. So here is a break down of the plots:

1. Hugh Grant plays the newly elected British Prime Minister who falls in love with the girl who brings him tea (Martine McCutcheo).
2. His younger sister Karen (Emma Thompson)'s husband, Harry (Alan Rickman) are going through some tough times and are evaluating their love for one another.
3. All the while, Harry is contemplating infidelity with his secretary, who is making advances at him.
4. Two of Harry's employees, Sarah (Laura Linney) and Carl are trying to start a romance despite her institutionalized brother's constant phone calls.
5. Yet another story follows the relationship between a recently windowed stepfather (Neeson) and his eleven year-old stepson.
6. His stepson has his own love story, with a ten year-old girl from his school.
7. "Just" Judy and Jack who are the body doubles for all the sex scenes in a movie go on their first date.
8. Colin Firth catches his brother and wife together and moves out to a château (in France?) where he falls for his non-English-speaking Portuguese maid (Lucia Moniz).
9. Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) plays an aging rocker who has a come back with a Christmas ballad, which is a cover of "Love is All Around".
10. Mark (Andrew Lincoln) who falls in love with his best friend's new wife, Juliet (Keira Knightley).

My favorite scene is Hugh Grant dancing alone to the Pointer Sisters "Jump for My Love" but it was one of many that had the audience laughing out loud. So there was no one lesson from this mammoth cast. Some characters fell in love, some get rejected. Overall the point was that love is all around and Christmas is a good time to show it.


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Rating: A-

Reviewed by Meghan O'Sullivan
Contents
The Hills Have Eyes 2

Hostel Part II

Six Degrees

Shark

Jericho

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Justice

The Hills Have Eyes

Love Monkey

Out of Practice

Head Cases

Crunchwrap Supreme

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Batman Begins

Garden State

Hero

13 Going On 30

LAX

Starman

quirkyalone.net

Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Line of Fire

We Shall All Be Healed

Happy Family

Arrested Development

Love Actually

A Minute with Stan Hooper

Tarzan

Karen Sisco

Stop All the World Now

Cold Case

Skin

10-8

Joan of Arcadia

Eve

Luis

Lost In Translation

House of 1000 Corpses

Bubba Ho-Tep

Darkness Falls

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Amazing Race

Treasure Island

FearDotCom

Adaptation

To Hit Armor Class Zero

Without A Trace

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Life With Bonnie

Jalapeņo Cheeseburger

The Mothman Prophecies

Happy Campers

The Man Who Wasn't There

Kiss of the Dragon

Josie & the Pussycats

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Dr. Pepper

Know By Heart

Waking Life

L.I.E.

Thirteen Ghosts

Earthlink presents Chang and Eng

New York and Country Bar

Change

Motivation and Water Tower Grammar

Crossing Philly

Makeout Club

Undeclared

The Gap

The Abolition of Work

3000 Miles to Graceland

Kolobos

Duets

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Diesel Sweeties

The Cold Six Thousand

The Grilled Stuft Burrito (Rebuttal)

60 Second Wipeout

The Patriot

Grilled Stuft Burrito

Cowgirls

Crystalline

Frankenfinger E.P.

One Force Down

Shake

Both Our Secrets

Happy Birthday Captain Columbus!

Fight Club

Whatever It Takes

Committed

That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

Joe Dirt

The Veggie Whopper

Taco Bell Nachos

Palmetto

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

The Terror of Mechagodzilla

To The Center

Infiniti+Infiniti

American Psycho

The Del Shredder

What Lies Beneath

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Bring It On

Chill Factor

Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars

Bad Company

The Blair Witch Project

Hyacinths and Thistles

Lake of Dracula

We'll Have a Time

Home Depot

Snow Day

The Virgin Suicides